Couple Who Escaped Extradition Found in Arizona

Tucson Police Department via Reuters Blake Barksdale and his wife Susan Barksdale

Blane Barksdale, 56, and wife Susan Barkdale, 59, escaped custody August 26 while they were being extradited from NY to Arizona in the alleged first-degree murder of Frank Bligh, 72, according to US Marshals.

Blane Barksdale was recently added to the Marshals' 15 Most Wanted list, with a $25,000 reward offered for information that leads to his capture, and $10,000 for Susan Barksdale's arrest. "Blane Barksdale has the dubious distinction of fulfilling that requirement". "More information about the arrest will be released tomorrow morning during a joint news conference with the US Marshall's".

The couple escaped custody on August 26, after overpowering two security guards while being extradited from NY to Arizona.

Described as armed and unsafe, the couple had been free since August 26 after allegedly overpowering two security guards in a private transport vehicle during a stop in Utah while being driven from NY to Arizona to face charges. The couple had stolen more than 100 firearms from the victim's residence, and burned down the home. The Navajo County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post that it assisted in the arrests but did not say where the couple was found.

A statement from Tucson Police had said the Barksdales were being driven back to Arizona in the private security van when they allegedly overpowered and restrained their two guards, a man and a woman, during a stop in Utah. "It was compelling enough that they felt the need to pull over", he said.

The couple drove the prison transport vehicle to Vernon, Ariz., where they got a pickup truck provided by an acquaintance, according to officials. They then abandoned the van with their three prisoners inside.

After several hours, the trio managed to break free.

By the time authorities realized the Barksdales had fled, they already had an eight-hour head start.

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Of course, the outlaws were long gone.

Neither of the guards was hurt, but they were bound with shoelaces, Gonzales said. "It literally just disappeared off the face of the Earth", Gonzales said of the truck on Monday.

The Barksdales were located following what Gonzales on Monday said was a change in the direction of the investigation from a "rapid manpower search to an intense fugitive search".

The guards, a male and female, were unarmed and didn't feel the need to take a handgun that was inside a locked box when they went to open the rear compartment of the van, authorities say.

KNXV-TV and azfamily.com reported the couple was apprehended Wednesday night at a home in Punkin Center, a small rural community about 80 kilometres northeast of Phoenix.

On May 1, an arrest warrant was issued for the Barksdales on charges including first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, arson and auto theft, police said. His body has still not been found.

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